Forest school is a unique and inspirational learning process where children can develop their self-worth, while enriching all areas of their learning in a real-life context. It is a process that children at South Wootton Infant School are privileged to be a part of, where they use the natural environment to deepen their learning and take the time they need to reflect and be inspired. It is a hands-on learning experience, personalised for each child and motivated by their interests and passions. At South Wootton Infant we believe that developing emotional intelligence, self-esteem and social skills are the key foundations that a person needs (the roots of our learning tree), and time is taken to develop these. During Forest School, children will be motivated and feel empowered to achieve tasks and activities that challenge their individual aspirations, with limitless academic achievements in ways that they learn best. In Forest School at South Wootton Infant, children will develop an understanding and connection with the natural world, work with tools, play, explore, and learn the boundaries of behaviour by managing risks. Our activities and Forest School sessions will depend on the interests, ability and experience of participants.
Examples of Forest School activities include:
- Exploring the natural environment through their sense of ‘awe and wonder’.
- Developing a relationship with the environment where children wish to learn how to nurture and manage the natural environment.
- Building dens and other structures to enrich their games and imaginative play.
- Fires and cooking.
- Natural crafts.
- Using tools, such as knives and saws.
- Scavenger hunts and adventure.
- Team games.
- Den and shelter building.
- Seasonal activities.
- Storytelling, using the natural world to enable stories to come to life.
Forest School is a rich learning environment that will further enhance the creative, enquiry based teaching that already happens in the classrooms. It is another approach to help make our school a fun, memorable, and enjoyable place, with happy and successful life-long learners.
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The agreed South Wootton Infant School Forest School rules:
Be kind. Work together and help each other. Don’t ruin other people’s games.
Make safe choices. Drag long sticks, do not wave them. Do not put anything near your mouth. Help each other if something is heavy, not move it by yourself.
Be careful. Check the ground for trip hazards.
Look after others, and nature. Ask before I pick anything.
Be sensible. Ask an adult if I am not sure.
Follow the rules. Always. Especially when using tools or around the fire.